We reported on a lot in Seekonk this past year, but a few stories rose to the top as the most newsworthy of 2011. Here's the ones that we remember. If you think another story belongs on the list, share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Remembering Jacob Mayo: On Dec. 17, 2010, 18-year-old Seekonk High School student Jacob Mayo was killed in a hit-and-run incident on I-195. The community was left devastated by his tragic loss.
In 2011, his passing continued to make news, as charges were pressed in January against the 20-year-old driver — Warren, RI, resident Katelynn Johnson — who reportedly left the scene of the accident.
Seekonk teenagers Nathan Dias, Jason McInerney and Michael Poland, all 17, also faced multiple charges, including trespassing and throwing an object onto a state highway, malicious destruction of property over $250, attempt to commit a crime and three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
A scholarship fund was later founded in memory of Mayo.
Seekonk Police make big drug bust: In March, the Seekonk Police Department and SWAT team members arrested five in connection with a drug operation involving the growth of marijuana plants in a Seekonk home. Police also allegedly found crack pipes, cocaine, fertilizers, Mexican mushrooms and bins of syringes at the home located at 79 Back St.
New Walmart Proposed: Plans for a new Walmart on Route 6 were proposed in June. The new Walmart would result in the demolition of Fantasyland amusement park. The proposal ran into environmental issues regarding its location near a vernal pool and the plans were met with much resistance from many locals, some forming a group called Seekonk First to oppose the construction. Discussion on the plans will continue with a public hearing on the subject scheduled for January 9 at Town Hall.
Hurricane Irene: The large storm wreaked havoc on the East coast in August, causing major damage in Seekonk and neighboring areas, all while leaving thousands of residents without power. See photos of the damage throughout town here.
2011's Fall Town Hall Meeting: Voters approved numerous expenditures at the Town Hall Meeting in November, including improvements to the Animal Shelter, upgrades to school technology, and funding for a Habitat for Humanity project.